Lord Jesus, I worship You today as the divine Son of the eternal God. You are Lord and King of all!
Read Matthew 3:13-4:11
 Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John.  But John tried to deter him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”  Jesus replied, “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.” Then John consented.  As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”  Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”  Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”  Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple.  “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'”  Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'”  Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor.  “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.”  Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.'”  Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectBy what means did Jesus turn aside these temptations?
Jesus’ identity is beautifully affirmed here. Both the gift of the Spirit and public words of divine love and approval together give him a bomb-proof sense of his identity. He needs that, for all the temptations focus on his sense of identity: “If you are the Son of God” (4:3,6). The temptation is to prove it by breaking the limitations of the incarnation; to prove it rather than luxuriate in the assurance that it’s true. But Jesus’ security is in being the Son of God, knowing that he is empowered and loved by his Father. That enables him to withstand all the temptations. When we feel insecure, it breeds problems and causes conflict. When we’re not secure in our identity as God’s beloved children, we compete for position, we pursue our own agenda, and we run down the gifts of others. When we’re insecure, we can become ultra-critical and ultra-sensitive at the same time. The need for human approval becomes our goal rather than responding to God’s call. We need to hear the Father’s heart for us–to be assured that God cares for us, to allow his Spirit to whisper to our spirit that we’re God’s beloved children (Rom. 8:16).
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us…” (1 John 3:1a). Feast on this lavish love today.
Lord, may I be strong in my identity in You and in knowing Your Word so that I can turn back temptation.
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